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Exciting new support for aspiring Social Entrepreneurs


Action Hampshire is pleased to be part of the Building Better Opportunities ‘Inspiring Enterprise’ programme, along with WSX Enterprise, Surrey Community Action, The University of Winchester and the Fredericks Foundation. The funding has become available through the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund

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Through the activities of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and previous work, we have a long tradition of promoting and supporting social enterprise in Hampshire, particularly encouraging new and aspiring social entrepreneurs. With Big Lottery and European Social funding we have the opportunity to support more disadvantaged or unemployed people to seriously consider creating social enterprise to support themselves whilst making a valuable contribution to their community or wider society.

We will draw on our expertise to offer all participants a chance to increase their skills and confidence and develop their business idea through training, mentoring and one to one advice. We will support the set-up of local networking groups to provide ongoing development of new socents. The programme offers advice and training on all aspects of running a sustainable social enterprise and, once registered, participants can access the parts of the programme they feel are useful to them.

The funding allows us to go out to the local community and deliver workshops where they are needed, we’ll be able to reach those who wouldn’t normally be able to access programmes like these and encourage them to make a real difference in their own local community. The programme is open to those who are unemployed or “economically inactive”, eg carers, long term sick, studying or not employed. We want to develop awareness of social enterprise as an option and build interest and enthusiasm for new ideas and innovative businesses!

There are a few ways of getting involved or expressing an interest……
This free support may be of interest to the people you work with and you might have contacts with groups who could be interested in attending an initial session on ‘Is social enterprise for me?’ (No obligation to attend anything else, but the option is there) We can also run the session for your community workers to see if they would be interested in promoting it with their groups.

You might run a community building and have an offer of regular events that we could be part of – our funding allows us to hire rooms and refreshments – you could promote a workshop, gain an addition to your programme and some room hire funds!

If you run a job club or work with young people who are NEET and need a boost in confidence or information about social enterprise – it doesn’t have to be one individual who starts a social enterprise, it could be a small group working together.

You might be a trainer or social enterprise/cooperative expert who would be interested in delivery of some of the programme – the benefit is that it is delivered locally so if you want to benefit people and the social enterprise economy in your neighbourhood, get in touch. We are also looking for local mentors for those who choose to set up a new business.

The programme is also open to applications from individuals who would be interested in finding out more about social enterprise and if it could be for them – get in touch and we will be able to connect you with like-minded people and help you to build a support network as you develop your business idea.

This programme is open until 2018 and the first emphasis will be on the ‘is social enterprise for me’ roll out to peak interest in the subsequent workshops on developing and running a social enterprise. The funding is delivered through the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership so can only be offered in North Hampshire and the New Forest. If you want to find out more or if you are interested in being part of the ‘Inspiring Enterprise’ programme, get in touch with Sandie and she will tell you more.